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Discussion Starter #1
First of all I shoulder the blame for not preventing this in the first place. Normally my boys will stay close to me or I will keep them buckled in a cart ot stroller or use a leash, but I will use today as an example. I have temporarily banned food in the van so I took my boys into Chick Fil A. They were angels. I was paying at the counter with my 4-month-old in a car seat and the 2 yo and 3 yo boys standing nearby. Without warning they shot out thhhe door and down the sidewalk and into the bushes near the back, completely ignoring my request for them to turn around and run back. I was scared and furious. I managed to contain my impulse to light their hides on fire and led them to the van where I proceed to express my feelings in more words than they cared to hear. They pretty much acted unresponsive.<br><br>
What is effective gentle discipline strategy to use in a situation like this or when one escapes to go hide in a clothing rack somewhere?
 

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I play 'red light green light' with my ds all the time, and now he is very good about stopping when I yell 'red light'.<br><br>
We have discussed that 'stopping at a red light' is a safety issue, just like when cars have to stop at lights.<br><br>
Another thing that I've done is taught him how to cross roads safely - look both ways, listen, and get the 'OK' from an adult or hold hands. So now he wont go in the road with out me no matter what. So at least I know if he runs around, he will stay on the sidewalk!
 

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I don't really think there is one, honestly. Now that you know they're capable of dashing away from you (AND OUT THE DOOR into a parking lot), you have to make sure they can't, either by using tethers or a stroller or carts. 2 and 3 is really young and they won't be able to resist the impulse, so it's up to you to create an environment where they can't do it.
 

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I think, that having proven that they will not just stay at your side...that the best option is a harness. My son loved his pony backpack harness....he always asked to wear it in the house and it was a godsend at the airport last year (at 2y2m). <a href="http://www4.shopping.com/xPO-The-Gold-Bug-Gold-Bug-2-in-1-Harness-Buddy-Horse" target="_blank">http://www4.shopping.com/xPO-The-Gol...ss-Buddy-Horse</a>
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I think you guys are right. MY dh and I came to the same conclusion last night - we'll just have to keep their backpacks on in public. They actually like to wear them but I had hoped to reserve their use for places like the zoo because they think it's the greatest game to pull against them like a team of horses and they get so tangly, but its better than risking danger of traffic or heaven forbid an ill-indented person.
 

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I'm laughing at the image of them pulling like a team of horses. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I'm seconding Red Light/Green Light -- we do this when I hike with my 4 & 3 year old --- but I wanted to add that they didn't get really good at it until 3.5 -4 years old. My dd (3) still takes the 'red light' as a suggestion on occasion, so I invented "Purple Light!", which means "Start dancing!", which usually keeps them in one place until I can catch up and guide the next direction. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> Plus, it's fun to watch your kids break into dance rather than yell at them for not listening to you when you ask them to stop.<br><br>
At 3 and 2, I still did a lot of "containment devices" --- both kids in a shopping cart (grocery store), child in a high chair (restaurant), kids in a stroller cart (I shop at Kohl's because of this), or race car cart (again, I shop at Lowe's). I tend to patronize places which allow me to contain my kids for a few minutes while we shop. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> It's not a perfect system -- and I'm probably losing some AP street cred with this admission -- but I haven't lost anyone yet.
 

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I was just about to make a post about this problem. My 3.5 yo does this too, and I am at a loss. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> It was fine when he was my only child, but now that I have a baby too, I juts can't physically keep up with him. It's hard.
 
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